A couple of weekends ago, my daughter and I took a very casual peek at a couple of colleges. As cliché as it sounds, it is such an exciting time of possibility, when there is literally a world of opportunity waiting for her. Being a witness and supporter in the process is especially poignant and joy-filled for me given my early life circumstances.
We checked in at a shady three-star hotel and drove to the local 99 restaurant for dinner, near the school that we planned to visit the next day. The walls of the 99 had photos of elite college sports teams and other college alum from decades past to present. The host, a man probably in his late twenties, greeted us,
“How are you?”
“Great and you?”
“Awesome,” he said. “Living the dream,” he said.
“Just living the dream,” he repeated as he whisked passed us and one of the black and white college photos.
I wondered how many times he had said it before. To how many moms and dads with their high school students visiting from out of town.
“This way, please.”
Everyday pleasantries returned.
Maybe he loves his work and was just having a bad day or he hates his jobs but is funding his real work with its paycheck… or maybe this is his second job, supporting a family, working hard to make ends meet…or maybe the heaviness of his dreams unrealized particularly weighed on him in that moment. I have my theories (and sometimes think I am a mind reader), but what’s true and real is that I will never know for sure.
Whether imagined or not, the thought of his unleashed potential dying a little bit everyday broke my heart. Broke. My. Heart.
Looking for your calling? What breaks your heart? Follow that. Find a way to change that.